Researchers from ICRAF The World Agroforestry Centre shared their best practices in ecosystem services during the first Asian Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP) Conference 2016 in Ansan City, South Korea.
The Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP) held its first Regional Conference in Asia from 30 May – 2 June 2016 in Ansan City, South Korea. More than 15 countries were represented during the Asian ESP Conference, which had the theme, ‘Ecosystem Services for Nature-Based Solutions’.
ESP co-Chairs Rudolf de Groot and Robert Costanza are hoping the conference had stimulated more discussion and collaboration in using the concept of ecosystem services (ES) to identify nature-based solutions to the problems in Asia.
Beria Leimona, an ecosystem services specialist with ICRAF, synthesised in a keynote presentation ICRAF’s experience in promoting tree-based agriculture in Asia through piloting Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes. She highlighted three type of PES based on ICRAF’s research: commoditization, compensation for opportunity loss and co-investment of ES.
In such schemes, a deeper understanding of the smallholders’ characteristics is essential to ensure integrated solutions for addressing the needs of smallholders, reducing their vulnerability and improving their livelihoods, while simultaneously contributing to the provision of ES. Co-investment schemes, in particular, prove to be more effective in yielding integrated solutions and increasing and improving the involvement of stakeholders, such as the external actors benefiting from the ES, in conservation efforts.
The Climate-smart, Tree-based, Co-investment in Adaptation and Mitigation in Asia (Smart Tree-Invest) project team also organized a session titled, ‘Assessing Vulnerability and Resilience towards Co-investment for Ecosystem Services in Tree-based Agricultural Landscapes’. Researchers shared the lessons learned and best practices of the project in developing tree-based co-investment schemes in Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
During the session moderated by Delia Catacutan, senior social scientist and country representative of ICRAF Vietnam, participants also discussed how to link the research and field activities with policy. Sacha Amaruzaman, a presenter from ICRAF Indonesia, shared the efforts of Smart Tree-Invest in using the outcome mapping approach to collaborate with local stakeholders, including policymakers. The said session was attended by the youngest participant of the conference, a high school student. Smart Tree-Invest is supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA).
FTA and ICRAF also co-organized another session titled ‘Business and Ecosystem Services: a multi-stakeholder shared experience in ecosystem service co-investment’ with the Korean Ecosystem Services Network. Presenters for this session shared their experiences in collaboration with the private sector, non-government organisations, scientific communities and governments in promoting ecosystem service enhancement and social inclusion in Indonesia and Korea.
Leimona and Chun Jaekyon from the National Nature Trust of Korea shared their experiences in working with the private sectors to improve provision of ES in Indonesia and Korea respectively. Herlina Hartanto of the Nature Conservancy shared their experience in working with timber plantation companies in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Danone Ecosystem presented their initiatives on sustainable watershed management. Hyundai MOBIS shared their activities in supporting forest conservation in Korea, while a local urban social enterprise presented how initiatives for improving ES provided by honey bees can be started even in urban areas.
In the closing panel discussion, Meine van Noordwijk, the Chief Science Advisor of ICRAF, highlighted the importance of Asian region, which provides more than 50% of the global ES and is the home to more than 60% of the global population. He also discussed the potential of using local knowledge regarding the multi-functionality of trees to improve livelihoods and environmental services, as practiced in many countries in the region.
In 2013, ICRAF hosted a global ESP Conference in Bali. In the past, ICRAF has contributed in the arrangement of many global ESP conferences, a conference that aims to mainstream the concept of ES not only with the research community but also policy- and decision-makers.